Islamabad: Pakistan’s inflation eased for the first time in seven months, giving the flood-ravaged nation some respite and providing the central bank scope to keep the policy rate steady at its October meeting.
Consumer prices rose 23.18 per cent from a year earlier, according to government data released Saturday. That compares with a median estimate of 26.1 per cent in a Bloomberg survey, and price gains of 27.25 per cent in August. Food inflation quickened to 31.7 per cent year-on-year while transport surged 64.49 per cent.
The crisis-gripped nation is seeking urgent debt relief amid flooding that inundated a third of the country and led to losses of an estimated $30 billion. The climate catastrophe placed Pakistan’s already depleted reserves even more at risk, reviving funding concerns and pushing the currency to record lows.
The government lowered domestic fuel prices on Friday at its fortnightly review. The State Bank of Pakistan is scheduled to announce its policy rate decision on October 10 after keeping the rate unchanged at 15 per cent in August.